The Columbia Critic

A place to debate anything we want to. We'll talk Columbia campus issues. We'll talk up the homosexual problem. We'll talk China. And we'll talk without resorting to partisan rhetoric. We may be left. We may be right. But we aren't going to be quoting any party line. We're leading the discussion. But feel free to chime in. Hannity and Colmes this is not.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Rove Misstep?

The White House has been twisting arms to ensure that no Republican member votes against President Bush in the Senate Judiciary Committee’s investigation of the administration's unauthorized wiretapping. Congressional sources said Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove has threatened to blacklist any Republican who votes against the president. The sources said the blacklist would mean a halt in any White House political or financial support of senators running for re-election in November.

"It's hardball all the way," a senior GOP congressional aide said.

Karl Rove, in my opinion, has been one of the most brilliant political strategists I've ever seen or heard of. Every move is coldly cool and calculated; it's almost as if he knows what's going to happen before it's going to happen, like a puppetmaster moving all the marionettes.

This move to line up the rank and file of the GOP just doesn't seem like a good move at all. Right now, the only leverage the Bush administration has in Washington is the good fortune of a. being in office b. Having a Republican dominated House and Senate and c. having the remnants of Tom Delay's K-Street project GOP lobbying giant machine. Bullying congressmen, especially during a time where the President already has senators like Arlen Specter scratching their heads, seems to be a recipe for backlash. Not funding dissenting Congressmen is bad for America and if anything, is going to widen the hairline cracks already forming within the GOP.

I don't know the statistics, but during this year of re-elections, it seems to be in the best interest of the Republicans to back the incumbent, especially with the balance of power beginning to teeter towards the Democrats. Democrats have been spreading the slogan "Culture of corruption" all over the Republicans. In my opinion, that's well deserved, but if the White House wants to maintain an advantage in the bodies that do the checking and balancing, it should be in their best interest to present a united front with a little honesty. Say congressmen get pissed off that Rove is basically trying to squash their pride, telling them that they are pawns in his game, tell them that they are there because of him and have no ability of their own. Say they get pissed. Who is going to get the money and the presidential backing? A porn star that loves rifles and is anti-abortion?

Then again, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe Rove really does hold everyone's political destiny in his grubby chubby hands, and maybe everyone in Washington (at least on the Republican side) knows it. The Whitehouse has everything to lose here, 6 years of political dominance and not a whole lot to show for it, why play hardball, why toy with the possibility of losing the only weapons you have?


  • At 4:03 AM, Blogger Dennis said…

    Oh, Wang, I hardly think Karl Rove is as unique as you give him credit. He's hardly a Darth Vader in the Star Wars of Congress. Ok, I'll drop the analogy. My point is simple, though: when it comes down to a close vote that's being driven by partisans on both sides, both sides will act to get their ducks in line.

    For instance, take the recent sparring between Barack Obama and John McCain, both who have been seen in the past as fairly independent figures in their parties. (Although, since Obama is a freshman Senator, that may be more image than anything else. McCain in most regards has proved it, and we'll see with Obama.) In any case, after initially supporting McCain's efforts, over the past week Obama changed his position to assert that "he believes Reid's bill 'should be the basis for a bipartisan solution.'" ( )

    Right. The bill proposed by the Democratic Minority Leader and the Democratic caucus should be the basis for "bipartisanship." Do you think Obama really believes that?

    Sadly, it seems to me the Democrats have been keeping their Congressmen and Senator's very much in line as much as, and probably more than, the Republicans. If you look at roll calls, you'll see that more Republicans have been voting against Republican initiatives than Democrats have been voting for them.

    Luckily for Republicans and Rove, at least, Republicans have a larger war chest for this election, with Dean having raised $51 million but having spent 45.5 of that already, before the elections. That leaves him with $5.5 million to dole out to Democrats from the DNC, while the RNC has $34 million left. So much for the miraculous fundraising revolution that Dean would bring when elected Chairman. ( ) So if Democrats want to wave the purse strings, big Democrats who can fundraise well on their own might as well laugh.


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